When it comes to a flawless face, we are quick to assume it’s all about the makeup. While we agree that the potions and powders we love so much make all the difference in perfecting our faces, there is another often-overlooked component that plays a huge role: brushes. Makeup brushes make all the difference when it comes to pristine application. With so many options at your fingertips it’s hard to decide which tools are best for you. One of the most common conundrums involves the use of natural versus synthetic brushes. Is there really a difference? Which type provides the best application/coverage? We want to help you get to the bottom of the great brush debate, so we got the skinny on both!
Made of: These brushes are made of natural animal hair, often sable, squirrel or goat.
Benefits: Natural hair contains cuticles, which have great pick-up and blending properties. Cuticles help lift and absorb powdery pigment along with your skin’s oils and blend them seamlessly across the face, creating a natural, non-blotchy look. The hair is also super soft and makes for easy blending on the face.
Best Uses: Natural brushes are best used for applying powder-based makeup such as eye shadow, finishing/setting powder and powder-based blushes and bronzers.
Product Recommendations: Maybelline Expert Tools Face Brush, Giorgio Armani Blender Brush, Shu Uemera Natural Brush 20h
Made of: These brushes are typically made of man-made materials like nylon, taklon or polyester fibers.
Benefits: Synthetic brushes are unique in that the bristles naturally gravitate toward each other, allowing for more precise, smooth and streak-free application. Because of the hairs’ precise properties, they are great for angled, sharply cut brushes.
Best uses: These faux-hair brushes are ideal for liquid products like foundations, cream blush or gel eyeliner. The synthetic hairs are not as porous as natural hairs, so they don’t soak up too much makeup or get clumpy and gunky (this could save you some money in the long run, as they use less product).
Product Recommendations: Urban Decay Perversion Angled Brush, YSL Beauty Polishing Brush, Lancôme Paris Foundation Brush #2